This from the San Jose Mercury News
The study found a person's chances of becoming obese went up 57 percent if a friend did, 40 percent if a sibling did and 37 percent if a spouse did. In the closest friendships, the risk almost tripled. Researchers think it's more than just people with similar eating and exercise habits hanging out together. Instead, it may be that having relatives and friends who become obese changes one's idea of what is an acceptable weight.
In 1988, for no particularly good reason, Bernard's weight spiked. He gained 43 pounds. Shortly after that, his brother gained weight. And his friend. Then his brother's friends. His friend's friends. Now, as he walks through the mall, Bernard can see that the ripple effect outwards has seemed to have hit everyone, like a slow-motion, silent video of a fat kid executing the perfect cannon ball at the public pool. Fearful that sociologists will soon trace this epidemic back to him, Bernard is seeking solace in comfort food. Pass the bacon, Kevin.